My parents’ ridiculous excuse for missing my school graduation

High-school graduation is a momentous occasion eagerly anticipated by many. It’s a shared experience filled with love and cherished alongside our nearest and dearest, symbolizing a chapter in life destined to be treasured forever.

For Britt, a young woman on the brink of this significant milestone, the day unfolded as a whirlwind of emotions. Pride swelled within her for achieving this academic feat, yet beneath the surface, a flurry of apprehension loomed. Would her mom and step-dad make it to the ceremony? Amidst the sea of faces and flashing cameras, she yearned for their presence.

Seated amongst her peers, Britt’s gaze darted around anxiously. “They’re just running behind,” she reassured herself. “Perhaps caught in traffic. They’ll arrive soon.”

As names were called and classmates strode across the stage, Britt remained vigilant, hoping for a glimpse of her loved ones. Finally, her name echoed through the auditorium, and with a brave smile, she ascended the stage. Clutching her diploma, she silently prayed for her mom’s beaming face and her step-dad’s encouraging thumbs-up. Yet, they were conspicuously absent.

Disheartened but determined, Britt scanned the crowd, searching in vain for her missing family. Realization dawned as she acknowledged their absence, and she reached for her phone. There, a message awaited her: “Apologies, we couldn’t make it. An unforeseen situation with your stepsister arose. We’ll celebrate later. Congratulations!”

With mixed emotions swirling within her, Britt embraced the bittersweet reality of the moment, grateful for her achievement yet yearning for the familial support that eluded her on this unforgettable day.


Britt got incredibly concerned. She wondered what could have possibly been more important than her graduation and couldn’t wait to get home and be there for her parents.

Iris, her step-sister, was always throwing tantrums, and wanted to be the center of attention, but what could be wrong this time?

As she stood there all by herself, Britt felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Justin’s, her prom date. “Hey, are you okay?” he asked her, realizing something was terribly wrong.

Britt couldn’t answer because she felt a lump in her throat. Instead of words, tears started rolling down her face.

“Oh sweetheart, come here,” Justin’s mom told her as she pulled her in her embrace. “You’re not alone, we’re here for you.”

They did all in their power not to let Britt feel alone and tried to fill in the void.

Following the celebration with Justin’s family, Britt headed home. Once there she saw her mom and step-dad on the couch, watching TV just like any other day. What’s most, they even looked relaxed.

Britt’s anger bubbled up. “Hey, where were you guys?” she asked with a trembling voice. “You missed my graduation.”

Her mom, looking embarrassed, sighted, “Your stepsister broke a nail. She threw a huge tantrum and demanded we take her to the beauty salon to get it fixed immediately. She was inconsolable, Britt.”

In disbelief, Britt said, “A broken nail? You missed my graduation because Iris broke a nail and had a meltdown?”

Iris, who didn’t even bothered to raise her head said, “It was an emergency for me.”

At that point, Britt realized how skewed her parents’ priorities were. It wasn’t that she didn’t know Iris was their favorite, but this was the breaking point. “Are you serious?” she shouted. “Do you even realize how much this meant to me?”

Unable to look at her eyes, her mom said, “Britt, we’re sorry. We’ll celebrate later, I promise.”

After giving it some thought, Britt decided it would be for the best if she left the house for some time. So, she called Mrs. Anderson, Justin’s mom. With a shaking voice she said, “Good evening, Mrs. Anderson. I want to ask you for a favor. But I don’t know how to…”

“Go on, Brittany. What is it?” Mrs. Anderson replied with her sweet voice.

“Can I stay with you guys for a while? I’ve had a fallout with my family and I need to get out of here.”

Justin’s mom didn’t hesitate. “Of course, sweetheart. You’re always welcome here.”

Britt packed her things and headed towards the front door. “I’m leaving,” she said. “I need some time away from this house, from you.”

Her mom tried to stop her, but it was too late.

In the weeks that followed, Britt was able to find a job and eventually, an apartment. She ignored her parents’ calls and didn’t want any contact with them.

However, years later, when she was about to graduate from college, Britt decided to give them a chance for redemption so she called them on the phone and invited them to her graduation ceremony. She believed they owed her to be there this time.

Sadly, the history repeated itself. On the day of her college graduation, Britt’s mom and step-dad didn’t show up. The reason why? Iris, who was pregnant at the time, had a craving for a particular cake from a sweet shop in the next town and they got stuck in traffic. Just like the first time, they excused themselves with a lame text message.

This was yet another blow from the people who were meant to be Britt’s biggest support. Following the ceremony, Justin found Britt. “They didn’t come, did they?” he said softly.  “No, they didn’t,” she answered.

Justin was always there for her, he felt like the closest person she had in her life, and eventually they started a relationship and moved in together. Britt was happy with how her life turned out, but the ache of her parents’ absence from her life was something she needed time to get over.

Looking back, Britt learned that even when given a second chance, some people will waste it, and they will disappoint you over and over again.

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